Pre-install Tracking

Adjust’s Pre-install Tracking solution lets you accurately track install data from apps preloaded on Android devices. Partners then receive attributions for all app activations, simplifying the tracking setup.

Pre-installed apps can be found on many factory-setup devices, which are distributed by their manufacturers or retailers. Partners can then track app activations and attribution from the very beginning. You can become, or work with, a pre-install partner for your app’s marketing campaign needs.

Before you begin


  • Create a tracker token. This will be used as a default tracker in your app.

SDK setup

To use this feature, you first need to download and set up the Adjust SDK for your app. Follow the instructions linked below to get started.

This feature requires Adjust SDK v4.23.0 and later.

⚙️ Get started with the Android SDK

Once you have the Adjust SDK installed and configured, follow the guides linked below to use this feature:

📖 Preinstalled apps – Android SDK

Helpful information

For instructions on creating, managing, or sharing tracker URLs with your ad networks, see the following references:

Clickless preloads attribution process

A click is critical in completing the standard attribution flow. At install, Adjust looks for clicks with a matching device identifier. If there are none, Adjust moves on to clicks with matching device characteristics. If there are no eligible clicks, the process repeats using the impression-based methods for attribution.  

Adjust’s fraud filters make it impossible to simulate a click without an attribution being rejected. Even though there is no click, the attribution pool collects all pre-install activities. In the end, the best method for attributing the install occurs. 

Implementation methods

Adjust uses three main methods to implement pre-install tracking. You can choose only one, but you cannot change this setting once it’s implemented. It’s encouraged that you discuss your needs with the Adjust support team to help you choose the method that works best for you. The main three methods are:

  1. Via System Properties - The safest and fastest approach for both Adjust and the device manufacturer. This allows the manufacturer or retailer to save preloaded attribution information in the device OS.
  2. Via World-Readable Directory - This method saves the preloaded app attribution information in a world-readable directory, for example, /sdcard. It allows all apps to read from that directory while the encryption protocol protects the app data.
  3. Via Content Provider - The preloaded app would create a read-only content provider while the Adjust SDK would use a content resolver to query the device app’s request.
The device encrypts all data is at-rest and while in-transit using industry-standard protocols.

Work with a pre-install partner

To work with a pre-install partner, you need to update your Adjust Android SDK to version 4.23 or later. Next, create a tracker token for the pre-install partner(s) you wish to run campaigns with. After creating your tracker token, pass it to your pre-install partner. Get started by checking the Pre-install app tracking steps in our Github developer documentation and Basic tracker setup Help Center article.

Current Partners

The following list contains some preloading partners, along with their preferred method.

Digital TurbineContent provider
OrangeContent provider
SHAREitContent provider

Contact support@adjust.com to learn more and further discuss which method best suits you.